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    Going Green: Celebrating Earth Day by Fulfilling our Duty toward our Planet

    ImageWe live in a time where global warming and climate change are critical issue facing the world and generations to come. As the international community continues the discussion on what can be done to confront and solve these issues for the sake of our planet, organizations are also beginning to realize that they too play a role in contributing to a low carbon society. The question is, are ENOUGH organizations taking issues like energy consumption, environmental saving, and environmental protection into consideration?  Our research has shown that UAE businesses are wasting millions of dirhams per year on avoidable energy costs.

    Energy efficiency should be a collective effort by organizations and individuals alike to work toward greener communities and a greener society at large. In order to encourage individuals and families to adopt greener habits in their personal life, organizations should increase emphasis on educating employees on what they can do to contribute to a better environment. Taking the environment into consideration should be a critical component of your organization’s value system as a whole. At OKI Group, we consider the mitigation of climate change and the realization of a low carbon society as two critical issues on our agenda. We’ve been active in an ongoing campaign to promote “Green IT.” After all, IT is what we do best.

    Our world today is highly advanced technologically. From sending a simple text message to transporting ourselves from home to work, we depend on IT in many aspects of our lives. While it is a challenge, we believe that adopting a green approach to developing IT devices can have a significant impact on energy consumption across the world. Since 1998, OKI Group has made a deliberate effort in conducting environmental assessments in the design phase of product development, comparing each product to its predecessors. We call this “Green of IT.”

    On the other hand, the efficient use of IT is also critical to the reduction of CO2 emissions. As a carbon-neutral company, we’ve developed technologies such as CoolClover and Web Sensing which allow users to manage energy as well as track and collect environmental information. In a sense, we use technology to further enhance technology with the aim of being friendlier to the environment, hence why we call it “Green By IT.

    Here are some simple tips to consider when going green:

    • Calculate your emissions in order to plan where you should start when it comes to reducing your footprint. You can calculate your business’s CO2 emissions at: http://www.climatecare.org/business/business-co2-calculator/
    • You’d be surprised to know that many office appliances continue to consume energy even when they are idle. Invest in green office technology or optimize your energy settings to save money and reduce energy consumption in the long run.
    • Don’t print unnecessarily. Of course, there are cases when hard copies of documents are required, but one of the benefits of living in the digital age is that it has actually become more convenient to store and share documents electronically. Ask yourself, “do I NEED to print?”
    • Keep a recycling bin next to the printer to collect scrap paper. Much of what we print we dispose of, so rather than wasting paper, recycle your unneeded paper documents.

    Happy Earth Day to everyone around the world =)

    How to win an Oki colour printer at Gitex 2011

    Join us at Gitex 2011 for a quick Print Bingo game at our stand to win a brand new Oki colour printer.

    Here is how you can do it

    –         Come to Oki stand at hall 4 stand No. 416

    –         Collect your Print Bingo Card

    –         Cross out the names of our printers from your bingo card as we call them

    –         First one to cross out the 9 names and shout Bingo wins a new Oki C110 colour printer

    We run two games per day at 2pm and 4pm, except for the last day we’ll hold 1 game only at 2pm.

    Check out photos from first day at Gitex

    Print Control: How to Manage your Printing Cost

    There are lots of ways through which businesses can save on printing cost. Print Control, a utility provided by OKI for free, allows you to track printing operations at the office and provide reports and stats on printing usage. It allows you to monitor the usage of both individuals and groups of people.

    Print Control helps you to plan your printing policy and decide who get to print what.  For example; it allows you to grant print access to authorized personals only or restrict printing to monochrome. You could also assign a limited number of printed pages for your employees and also limit the number of pages printed in colours or even limit the time of print use.

    Print Control provides various options that help you manage you printing and hence achieve effective cost control. It is particularly useful for small and medium businesses which follow strict budget.

    Watch the video below to learn more about Print Control and how it can help SMBs

    Why Switch to In-House Printing?

    It’s no secret that in-house printing is one of the messages we keep emphasising everywhere we go. But with the research, surveys and constant dialogue we have with business owners, we always get the same result – lots of money is being spent on outsourcing business printing requirements that can be easily avoided by switching to in-house printing.

    The problem here is that many business owners still think that it is hard to move printing in-house and that it won’t provide the same high quality results outsourcing does.  Could they ever be more wrong!

    In-house printing is doable with the right tools and Oki’s Template Manager makes undertaking a wide range of printing tasks almost ridiculously simple. Template Manager comes with ready designed templates  for banners, business cards, letterheads and many other example as shown below

    In-house printing is not a hassle, it’s quite the opposite; you can avoid printing in large quantities which you are forced to do when out sourcing. So with things like letterheads, invoices and  business cards, you can exactly print the amount you need when you need it and where you need it. Your marketing materials such as; banners, flyers and brochures can easily be printed in-house with utilities like Template Manager.

    In-house printing  helps you save lots of money wasted on stack of printed materials saved in storage till needed and which you might end up throwing anyway if you changed any of the information like your P.O.Box, contacts or logo …etc.

    So why should anyone switch to in-house printing? Because it helps you become more efficient and it saves you both money and time.

    If you still have some second thoughts about in-house printing listen to our John Ross elaborating  more on in-house printing and template manager.

    Printing Policy for a ‘Paper-Less’ and more Efficient Office

    A clear printing policy can help you increase business efficiency

    As a printer vendor, people get quite surprised when they hear us talking about ‘Paper-Less’ office! But just because we sell printers, doesn’t mean we encourage printing more unnecessary paper.

    There are several aspects of the business that, if handled properly, could let you hit two birds with one stone; increase your office efficiency and save money. Printing is easily overlooked when we are considering these two areas and that’s why having a clear printing policy is essential, after all sometimes it is the small things that count.

    So what is a printing policy?

    A company’s printing policy is a guideline intended for employees to follow in order to apply the best printing practices at the office. It usually covers issues such as restricting the use of colour or ensuring that double-sided printing is used whenever possible. Unfortunately, too many organisations lack a basic printing policy for staff.

    In a recent survey which we conducted across EMEA*, we found out that 68.7% of the people surveyed don’t have a printing policy in their companies and only 24% do. Also in companies where printing policies do exist they are often ignored or poorly publicised. This is starkly illustrated by the fact that in  businesses with printers offering a double-sided, duplex facility; only 15% of employees ‘always’ used it. Conversely, 60% of staff with access to colour, ‘always’ or ‘often’ use the colour option, yet in the vast majority of office environments most standard print needs can be adequately accommodated in mono.

    Introducing better print management techniques at the office would have a greater impact on the corporate bottom line, with potential savings of up to $19,600 million.** With the right management and infrastructure, printing tasks can be done faster and with less waste; saving precious manpower and materials not to mention increasing the business efficiency.

    Here are just few points you could include while planning your printing policy

    –    Proofreading: Always make sure your staff proofread the documents before printing for spelling mistakes or any errors to avoid re-printing
    –    Double-Sided printing: Set double-sided printing as default and where possible advice staff to print two or four up (printing two or four pages on one sheet, works best with power point presentations)
    –    Colour Printing: Restrict printing in colours except when needed and set black and white printing as default.
    –    Print Range: Don’t print a 10 page document when you only need a couple of paragraphs or pages. Make sure you set your print range before printing.
    –    Recycle: Reuse single sided sheets  and incoming faxes for notes
    –    Disclaimer: Apply the ‘think before you print’ email disclaimer on all your outgoing e-mails.

    These are just a few points to help you get started but the most important thing is to involve your staff in the development of the printing policy; ask them for suggestion to give them a sense of ownership. The key here is to put in place a pragmatic and enforceable printing policy, each individual user will be able to operate in a way which remains convenient to them yet takes account of the cost to the broader business and the environment.

    *OKI Printing Solutions Survey: ‘So what exactly do you print?’
    **cebr Survey: ‘Outsourced printing- A waste of paper?’ – An analysis of cost savings achievable around EMEA from in-house printing and improved print management

    Business Efficiency … Your Key to Success

    By: John Ross, GM

    Smart printing is the key to print savings

    We recently held the OKI Business Efficiency Seminar in Dubai to discuss ways to boost efficiency in the workplace and enhance productivity. The seminar also saw the launch of our new range of OKI colour printers, the C300 and C500 series. The event covered the areas of new efficiencies in finance, resource management and innovation and took a practical look at tools to help businesses drive for greater efficiency. We brought in expert speakers from different parts of the business world to look at the whole scope of improving business efficiency.

    It’ll come as no surprise when we reveal that Oki’s contribution revolved around print, but there are some very real savings to be made by conducting a relatively fast and simple analysis of business printer usage.

    Let’s look at some independent research on printing in the UAE alone.

    • The annual print bill for UAE businesses is around AED 6,238 million
    • Some AED 1,136 million is spent every year on outsourced printing
    • The average office worker, according to the US Environmental Energies National Laboratory, responsible for printing 10,000 pages a year, using 12kg of paper (source)

    So the main question here is how to make printing effective and efficient at the workplace.

    Smart Printing is the answer, the recent Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) report commissioned by OKI showed earlier that a country like the UAE can save up to $110 million and spare the environment 9,000 tonnes of CO2 if business printing was more efficiently managed.

    Management doesn’t know what is printed at the office, how often it’s printed or how much it cost, so the first step towards achieving efficient printing is to investigate the printing process at the workplace. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

    –       How many pages do you print?

    –       How many in color and how many B&W?

    –       How can print be controlled?

    –       What can be printed in-house rather than sending out to a print shop?

    Nowadays and thanks to advanced technology several printing vendors provide you with the tools that can help you improve your printing process and increase business efficiency. At OKI for example, within every network printer and MFP box we supply, free of charge, solutions to increase your print effectiveness.

    Tools such as; Print control, print supervision and secure print, can help you control who is printing what and how, which can help you control your costs. Also tools like Template manager allows you to print stuff like business cards, flyers, brochures and banners which helps you to shift a major part of your printing in-house.

    Here are some of the cost savings that can be achieved by business sectors in the UAE with smart printing

    © centre for economics and business research ltd,

    In conclusion we can say that smart printing is good for business, environment and the economy, if best practice was applied across the UAE, businesses can save between AED 238 million and AED 540 million and the region’s economic output would rise by AED 724 million.

    So the next time you start reviewing your business and identify ways to boost your efficiency and productivity; don’t overlook printing!

    If you have the time, please take 3 minutes to answer our survey on Business Efficiency

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NKTX6KF

    

    OKI Business Efficiency Seminar

    The OKI Business Efficiency Seminar is held at the Arjaan Rotana on Monday 12th July @4:00pm and focuses on a number of areas intended to help you make a difference in how effectively you manage your business.

    Join us for a couple of hours of educational, entertaining & interactive sessions. We’ll also be taking the opportunity to launch the latest Oki colour products: the C300 & the C500.

    The event will feature a number of speakers of vast knowledge and expertise in Finance, Management, Innovation, Sales Training and Information Technology.

    First Speaker:               Binod Shankar, Genesis Review

    How to efficiently manage your budget

    Second Speaker:          Carol Talbot, Matrix Training Solutions

    A head start in 2010

    Third Speaker:             Jennifer Baxavanis, BAX Consultancy

    Sales training and its direct impact on productivity

    Fourth Speaker:           Vivienne Strettle, KVS Consultancy

    Staff empowerment and motivation

    Fifth Speaker:               John Ross, OKI Printing Solutions

    Efficiency in printing management

    The event is followed by a cocktail reception.

    To reserve your seat, please register here (free admission): http://cpilive.net/nl/2010/it/oki/registration.aspx

    You can help us with this survey about, oddly enough, business efficiency: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NKTX6KF

    Tech Chat podcast episode 18: OKI printers

    Tech Chat podcast episode 18: OKI printers.

    John Ross explains to ShuffleGazine listeners why LED technology simply rocks!

    How to move printing in-house

    OKI printer producing 1.2m banner and CD covers

    A recent study by leading business research body the Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has suggested that businesses in the EMEA region could save a staggering $25,000 million by changing the way they manage their printing, and in particular by bringing more of their print requirements in-house.

    While it may not necessarily be well quantified in any management system, print is a large element in any company’s overheads. The US Environmental Energies National Laboratory estimates that each worker is responsible for 10,000 printed pages a year, equivalent to 50kg of paper.

    It makes sense to reduce the amount of print that is required, and to minimise the cost of that printing. The cebr study suggests that, by implementing a modern approach to document handling and bringing as much in-house as is practical, businesses could expect to save as much as 30% of their costs overall.

    It is important to understand that these savings are attainable without compromising in any way the quality of the print work. Changing the print policy depends on taking advantage of recent developments in both document handling and printer technology: there is now no reason why you should not achieve consistently high quality results in-house.

    In summary, the principle is to print just what you need, when you want it, where you want it. It boosts cashflow, saves storage space and distribution costs, ensures accuracy and timeliness, boosts efficiency and greatly reduces waste. Here are just a few ways in which print costs can be saved.

    Do not outsource the print of letterheads or invoice blanks, or any other standard stationery. There is absolutely no need to have two print processes when one would do, and printers from innovative companies like OKI Printing Solutions are perfectly capable of accurately printing logos and layouts within tight colour tolerances.

    Keep brochures and data sheets online, which is where most customers expect to find them now. They can download and (if they need to) print them at their premises; you can print just those copies you need, for display or for special purposes such as an exhibition. It means you can keep the information up to date without having to pulp old brochures, and you can be sure there is no chance of old information remaining in circulation.

    Paper has two sides so use them both. Duplex printers for double-sided output are now widely available, fast, and reliable in paper handling. Double-sided printing means half the paper cost.

    Use the right printer for the job. High speed, high volume collating devices are available for when you need multiple copies of a large document, so staff should not need to tie up a desktop printer all day. Save colour printers for colour printing and use a mono printer when you can.

    Guard your commercial confidentiality. Your competitors may use the same print shop chain as you do, printing in-house is much more secure and allows you to keep control of your confidential information.

    In-house printing is about more than plain paper. Today’s printers are comfortable with a very wide range of stock. If you want a glossy brochure – print it onto gloss board. Want to give a presentation a luxurious feel – print it on to high white, heavier paper. Need self-adhesive, sequentially numbered barcode labels for products and packaging, or customised CDs or DVDs – specialist printers can be added to the network for special applications like this, or by using software supplied in the box from Oki a “standard” printer can be used to print variable data.

    Print where you need the copy rather than where the data is; If you want copies of a brochure in Hong Kong, better to print it there than shipping it from the home office (even if it means using an outsourced print shop).

    These seem simple and obvious points but, combined with the latest in print technology from an advanced and innovative supplier like OKI Printing Solutions, they can deliver real results in terms of reducing costs and saving management time. Putting the right print solutions in place boosts staff efficiency and boosts their enthusiasm.

    The brand values of a business are still judged, in part, by the quality of its printed material. The good news is that by applying good print management a business can make worthwhile savings in overheads – particularly significant in this time of financial turmoil – without in any way compromising the quality of its documentation or its impact on potential customers.

    Tips for better environmental performance through better printing

    Sand Martin Wood - OKI's woodland in Cumbria

    Environment has become a critical issue for the past few years and most people started to realize that they have to take a more responsible attitude to their consumption of energy and carbon emissions. This is not just a matter of being a good neighbour: increasingly it is becoming a central part of doing business. The prospect of legally enforced carbon quotas and trading schemes is near. Many companies, keen to establish their own green credentials, expect the highest environmental standards from their own suppliers, and being able to demonstrate best practices could mean the difference between winning and losing major contracts.

    The idea that a single business change process could both save money and reduce the carbon footprint must be extremely attractive, then. There is such a subject, and it comes from a surprising quarter, something that rarely attracts much management time: business printing.

    The Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has completed a major study into this subject, across 23 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Smarter print management – controlling costs and environmental impacts suggests that by taking a new approach, and in particular adopting the latest printer technology and print management systems, enterprises can bring much of the print that was traditionally outsourced back in-house, resulting in savings of as much as $25,000 million across EMEA. For the UAE only, cebr estimates that savings could reach between AED 238 million to AED 540 million.

    But the study did not just identify cost savings, cebr estimates that by saving waste and by printing at the point of need 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved each year across EMEA, equivalent to taking 400,000 cars off the road or the emissions from 750,000 long-haul flights.

    The changes needed to realise these savings are not difficult: they simply need you to take a fresh look at how you manage printing, from letters and invoices through brochures and documentation to labels and packaging.

    How are these savings achieved? Through three simple steps: print what you want, where you want it, when you want it. This is the route to cutting waste, which in turn is the key to saving both cost and emissions.

    Print what you want. The conventional logic is that when you use an external print house you print in bulk for economies of scale. The converse of this is that you then have to allocate space to storing all this printed paper.

    More to the point, once it is printed it is fixed. You introduce a bold new feature on a product or service; you have thousands of brochures, not mentioning the new feature, in stock. Do you add a supplementary sheet? Do you pulp the existing brochures and reprint? How do you ensure that all stocks of the old document are withdrawn from circulation?

    Today you have to produce brochures and data sheets in online form, because customers expect to be able to access product information from the web. Ensuring these online versions are fully up to date is easy. When you need a copy – for a proposal, to sit in a rack in reception, maybe a small stock for an exhibition – print just the copies you need.

    Why do you need printed letterheads or invoice blanks? Today’s printers are perfectly capable of achieving the resolution and colour fidelity to reproduce logos and layouts as well as the text. Why expend energy on two print processes when one will do?

    Finally, ensure that duplex printers are used whenever possible. Printing on both sides of the paper halves the number of sheets you need.

    Print where you want it. It is an obvious point, but if you print in bulk, it has to be delivered – probably by diesel-fuelled truck – to your premises. If you have multiple offices, the chances are it will have to be shipped from headquarters to branches, again consuming energy unnecessarily.

    Change your working practices to embrace document management. Scan incoming documents so that everything can be handled within your organisation as files, from the customer order to the barcode label, from the enquiry to the invoice. Edit, annotate and create electronically; print only when you need a paper copy.

    Around your own buildings, carefully review workflows and see where printers are needed. Give staff ready access to printers for their own, one-off requirements. That should include black and white as well as colour printers to get the best performance and efficiency. Put high speed collating bulk printers in a dedicated print centre. Serial numbered barcode labels should be printed at the point in the production line where you stick the label onto the product.

    Exhibiting in Las Vegas or Hong Kong or Cape Town? Shipping brochures and other documents is wasted air freight. Email the documents you need to your local agent – or even a print shop at the exhibition centre – and print there. A real saving in carbon emissions.

    Print when you want it. Stationery stores are a waste of office space, heating and light. Eliminate so far as possible printing in advance and you eliminate the storage issue. It also means, as we have seen, that the information will be completely accurate and up to date.

    Do not think that printing in-house means that everything comes out on plain paper. Printers are available that print onto paper at any size and onto any stock: if you want your brochure on a glossy board, print onto it.

    There is no reason why changing the way you manage your business print should affect the quality of the results. But it will save money and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

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